Journal: Custom Luggage Is Art Hidden in Trunks

Custom Luggage Is Art Hidden in Trunks

By Ezekiel Wheeler
October 4, 2013

The evolution of the trunk, boot, body stuffer has been a storied tale. The first “trunks” were just that, hand-made trunks that were fastened to the rear of coachbuilt automobiles. This kept with the tradition of stagecoach production until automotive designers began to incorporate the trunk into the body work.

For luggage manufactures like Karl Baisch and even Louis Vuitton, the car has been welcomed challenge to design luggage for. From trunks strapped onto the backs of pre-war estate cars to modern concept cars attempting to bring back an era of driving glamour. Every car is expected to go the distance and with luxury reaching new heights it’d had better be capable of toting your belongings.

One example of a marque that maintained this tradition since its birth is Mercedes-Benz. As one of the oldest manufacturers in the business, Mercedes has explored several decades of successful luggage options for its models, including the iconic 300SL Gullwing. Early vehicles offered optional luggage from Karl Baisch or Hapco.

The industrial era of the 1920s to the 1930s offered shrunks and long-distance travel baggage in bespoke color combinations and form fitting designs for the rapidly evolving cars. During the 1950s it was possible to get a full set of luggage for the price of a few hundred dollars. A set included everything from hat boxes to oversized pieces for the globe-trekking family.

Some modern manufacturers are exploring the world of bespoke luggage for cars in their premium category: Ferrari, McLaren, Infiniti and Porsche. Others resort to design collaborations with well-known brands. Either way you look at it, I still feel a bespoke set of luggage can help add to the personality of your car and the adventures you plan on having.

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Peter Olasz
Peter Olasz
Michael Maddalena
Michael Maddalena

Okay so it isn’t factory fitted but they are German from the ’50s. We have 4 pieces so they won’t fill up our ’67 Mercedes 230S’s trunk. We stack them and installed belts to keep them from moving around. They are a huge hit at Concour events! And the best thing is we can actually use them when we do road trips!

Bryan Joslin
Bryan Joslin

Fitted custom luggage is a rare luxury today, but it shouldn’t be. Hands down, my favorite accessory. I once made a set of fitted bags for a car that I reupholstered, using the same materials from the seats, and seatbelts for the handles.